The integrative role of orexin/hypocretin neurons in nociceptive perception and analgesic regulation

Ayumu Inutsuka, Akira Yamashita, Srikanta Chowdhury, Junichi Nakai, Masamichi Ohkura, Toru Taguchi, Akihiro Yamanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The level of wakefulness is one of the major factors affecting nociception and pain. Stress-induced analgesia supports an animal's survival via prompt defensive responses against predators or competitors. Previous studies have shown the pharmacological effects of orexin peptides on analgesia. However, orexin neurons contain not only orexin but also other co-transmitters such as dynorphin, neurotensin and glutamate. Thus, the physiological importance of orexin neuronal activity in nociception is unknown. Here we show that adult-stage selective ablation of orexin neurons enhances pain-related behaviors, while pharmacogenetic activation of orexin neurons induces analgesia. Additionally, we found correlative activation of orexin neurons during nociception using fiber photometry recordings of orexin neurons in conscious animals. These findings suggest an integrative role for orexin neurons in nociceptive perception and pain regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29480
JournalScientific reports
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 7
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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